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Entry #1

Tips to help you as an artist and a word from Ralph Bakshi!

8/2/08 by Weirdo
Updated 8/4/08

I've been wanting to post this little thing here for a while now. I found an old word doc on my computer that I wrote for a friend of mine. I feel that I gotta share it with you guys.

Most of us want to be better at drawing. Sometimes we don't feel confident with the way we draw. Even worse, sometimes we feel like we don't want to draw anymore. These little tips (I forget about them myself many times) have helped me through high school all the way through to today and I think it could help you guys to.

1) Tell yourself, "Can I draw for another hour?" Here's what I do now whenever I'm losing that urge to draw, thanks to Bobby Chiu (a great artist). I think of a person who's had it worse than me. Like policeman, soldiers, and firefighters. Bobby Chiu used Jackie Robinson as a great example; he was the first black man to play major league baseball. He loved baseball so much he went out to play, even though every game Jackie knew he was going to be booed at, hissed at, people going to make fun of him for being black. When he was batting, pitchers from the other team would aim at his head. Imagine the pressure he had to endure, the strength he had to summon to go onto that field, knowing that people hate him, just to do what he loved to do. Now all you have to say to yourself is "and I can't draw for another hour?" A link to Bobby Chiu's site!

2) Do something new, every day. Try drawing something that you're not used to, like still life. Heck, forget drawing, try painting, watercolor, or sculpting, or photography, dance, sing, write. As long as it's new, it's good for you!

3) Get influenced! Don't look at Dev Art or Newgrounds pages for long, or other artists, including me. Look at where you live, your environments. Remember what you've experienced in your life and try to put that on paper. No one else in this world or at any other time period has experienced what you been through, seen what you seen, felt what you felt. Use that to your art, it's called your originality. But you have to draw everyday to master it, to truly discover your "style". Learn drawing techniques so it'll become easier to reach that point. No one ever got worse by drawing doodles and quick sketches. Here's a link to help how to properly use influence.

4) Remember compliments and criticisms people give you, forget the insults. One reason why I don't visit Dev Art anymore is because people just don't get better being told "Wow, you're a great artist!" Don't be a baby when someone critiques your stuff. You might want to listen to what he/she has to say. There's nothing you can do to stop insults from coming, but you can forget them. If there is one thing humans are good at, it's forgetting.

5) Draw everyday! So what if it looks like crap, you're drawing something! Take a few minutes out of your time to draw. You say your drawings look like crap, so does mine and everyone else. But you don't see that crappy stuff in portfolios do you? You only see the finished piece or just the stuff they want you to see. No one gets it right the first time. I can safely say later in your life, you'll draw something and say "This looks like crap, but it sure does look a lot better than this 6 month old drawing I made".

Now this last part is the most important! It's not as feel good as the rest of the points but I have to address it! It's the part where it's up to you to apply the previous points into practice!

6) Learn real drawing skills. Do you want to have people look at your work and say "That was drawn by a pro"? Learn your basic principles of animation! All you need is an $8 Preston Blair book and six months to a year of dedication and discipline, and from then on the rest is up to you! Here is a link to get you started:

$100,000 animation course!

---Update - 8/4/08---

Here's a good comment from ahaarchive which I believe should be here for you all to see. It involves the sixth tip:

Quote from Leeraji: "One thing concerns me which is what if I dont want to draw in a classical old fashioned style? What if I want my style to be more realistic and detailed? Is the book still for me?"

Learning to animate is different than learning a style. The Preston Blair book doesn't teach a style. It teaches you to draw volumetrically. In order to move a character through dimensional space, you need to be able to break it down into its constituent forms, envision how those forms look from different angles and distort them in a controlled manner. It's a LOT easier to do that with a character based on simple bean shapes than it is with a realistic character with a million different angles and variations in shapes.

Once you absorb the principles of construction, squash and stretch and basic anatomy in Blair's book, you can start applying them to more complex forms. But starting out animating on realistic characters is a sure path to frustration. It would be like a beginner sitting down to learn to play the piano by tackling Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata.

Beginning artists shouldn't even attempt to have a style. Style isn't something you choose. It chooses you. Focus on learning the fundamental principles, and then look for other people's work that you like the way those principles are applied. Those choices are what lead to style. Some artists develop a personal style... others never do. Either way is fine. The biggest mistake you can make is forcing yourself to draw in someone else's style.

If you can master the Preston Blair exercises... and I mean REALLY draw them well... you can animate anything. But be careful not to mistake simplicity for easiness. Those ten lessons in the $100k Animation Drawing Course take six months to a year to master. It's a lot more difficult than it looks. But it's worth it.

This guy knows what he's talking about. I have a pretty good idea who he is.

Also, support the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. It's jam-packed with great info on cartoonists, rare prints, and examples of what a well created cartoon/illustration is. Without the Animation Archive, you would actually have to pay around $100,000 to see everything that website offers for free!

---End of Update---

Finally, I will end this post with this link to a *video of Ralph Bakshi at comic-con. He has something to say to all you guys.

Ralph Bakshi: Surviving In Tough Times

*The reason I did not embed the video is because the video says for me to ask permission from Stephen Worth of ASIFA-Hollywood, which I don't have. I always ask for permissions. That's just the way I am.


Comments

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CatFatCatFat

8/24/08

i really like the 3rd pint you made, very good post sir!


Too much reading...Cannot finish :(


eggatroneggatron

8/5/08

Good piece. I've totally fallen into the trap of not drawing anything. My haitus has lasted about two years and it's not going to be easy to get out of. I've actually forgotten how much I used to enjoy making stuff just for the fuck of it, I'm going to get back to it tonight and will surely be frustrated with how crap my efforts will be after such a long break.

Thanks :)


mo4formmo4form

8/4/08

lemme break it to ya gentley i d o n t g i v e a f u c k


Nice. Great inspiration; now I might finally stop blaming my crappy computer and finish up the movies I've been working on for months. This post really helped, so thanks for that!


crushycrushy

8/4/08

Bookmarked <3


ArbstarArbstar

8/4/08

Fucking epic win.

Lol.


That was fucking epic. Thanks so much for the link to that video.


From all the tips you listed I have followed 5 of them, haven't really tried the second when it comes to trying to do paintings, sculptures etc.

But anyway, really great tips here, especially that Ralph Bakshi.

8/4/08 Weirdo responds:

You really should. A little bit of variety can go a looong way!


JoBo4JoBo4

8/4/08

Whoa. This is amazing! I've had flash for two years now and have yet to make a full animation. I love drawing and art and animation, but I recently lost my spark. It seems as if this post was directed at me and my struggles. While may not start anytime soon, it IS a good look in the right direction. Thank you!


KrinkelsKrinkels

8/3/08

And to think I was going to spend this evening goofing off. I love being motivated.


Quote: One thing concerns me which is what if I dont want to draw in a classical old fashioned style? What if I want my style to be more realistic and detailed? Is the book still for me?

Learning to animate is different than learning a style. The Preston Blair book doesn't teach a style. It teaches you to draw volumetrically. In order to move a character through dimensional space, you need to be able to break it down into its constituent forms, envision how those forms look from different angles and distort them in a controlled manner. It's a LOT easier to do that with a character based on simple bean shapes than it is with a realistic character with a million different angles and variations in shapes.

Once you absorb the principles of construction, squash and stretch and basic anatomy in Blair's book, you can start applying them to more complex forms. But starting out animating on realistic characters is a sure path to frustration. It would be like a beginner sitting down to learn to play the piano by tackling Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata.

Beginning artists shouldn't even attempt to have a style. Style isn't something you choose. It chooses you. Focus on learning the fundamental principles, and then look for other people's work that you like the way those principles are applied. Those choices are what lead to style. Some artists develop a personal style... others never do. Either way is fine. The biggest mistake you can make is forcing yourself to draw in someone else's style.

If you can master the Preston Blair exercises... and I mean REALLY draw them well... you can animate anything. But be careful not to mistake simplicity for easiness. Those ten lessons in the $100k Animation Drawing Course take six months to a year to master. It's a lot more difficult than it looks. But it's worth it.

8/4/08 Weirdo responds:

Thanks, I could not have explained it better myself.


LeerajiLeeraji

8/3/08

Wow dude this is really nice. Your doing a real good job. Plus you've introduced me to some very key importnet people in animation. Learning animation would probably be stupid without knowing these guys.
One thing though: I dont own the book but if I can find it at a local book shop Ill definitely pick it up on the spot. One thing concerns me which is what if I dont want to draw in a classical old fashioned style? What if I want my style to be more realistic and detailed? Is the book still for me?
I do still have to pick up a drawing book and an art class , dont I? Well my major at school is art so I guess that'l be sufficient.

8/3/08 (Updated 8/3/08) Weirdo responds:

Read what ahaarchive wrote. It's all you need to know.
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TottyTotty

8/3/08

Bakshi came to talk at my school, it was really great. Your advice is good!


DezimoDezimo

8/3/08

wow great post xD
this'll really help me!!

i've been lacking motivation with my drawing recently, and i've been getting a little depressed about it after comparing my own drawing to other peoples

but this is exactly what i needed to make me feel a little better xD

thanks!


ill bookmark this so i can re read it when i feel totally demotivated, hope it helps =) so i guess thx


ArchemArchem

8/3/08

Thank you for those tips! They really helped me understand that I'm losing time by pitying my shitty drawings, instead of doing something about it. The video helped a lot too, confirming the post you made. I guess I just needed someone to tell me that, to give me motivation, to help me continue doing things I gave up on easily. Although I may still be young, I feel that I should change my routine, and finish what I have started. Again, thank you!


Thanks for sharing
*bookmarks page*


Thank you for sharing this with us, really refreshed our minds.


Great post. There's a lot of useful stuff in here. Thanks for the link to the video. =D


HammiHammi

8/2/08

What a guy man. What a guy. Hes like the animation worlds 2pac. Keeping it real. Great post.


Dark-Volcano-Sam

Calm down, we will all believe in you when you prove yourself. This isn't bull, its great advice. You should stop whining and listen.


Bakshi is my all time favorite animator, I'm insanely influenced by him and love thats hes still kicking, and couldnt agree more with his statements. I really hope everyone takes what he says to heart.


GustavosGustavos

8/2/08

I'm not mad at my own drawings. I can see they lack volume, and aren't great to look at. But I've seen it get better. I've been getting a steadier hand with the mouse (I don't have a tablet) since the beginning, so I can make something quicker without having to undo much.

Also, I've seen my basic animations be smoother and greater, but I keep coming up with the idea that I have hardly improved since my first movie. I just wish I can stop thinking of animating as a chore, and have it as a hobby again.


Another thing I would recomend is a book called War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's got some pretty good ideas on how to fight creativity blocks.

8/2/08 Weirdo responds:

War of Art huh? I'll look into it. Thanks!


Bunch of bull!

Do you want to know the reality of this? No matter what I done or told about or anything, YOU . . ALL . . WILL . . STILL . . NOT . . BELIEVE . . IN . . ME!! No matter how much sleep I didn't take or stuff I done either as collegework or personal, it's the same result! YOU HAVE DOUBTS!! None of you will believe in the talent I possess, or even have talent! None of you will believe I am completely devoted to video games. None of you will believe in me, point FUCKING blank! Must I need to be a broken record and repeat it as if it is necessary?

You really believe in me? Do you think you can change the perception? I'm not stopping you. I am saying you won't do that! You will keep on doubting until one of us is dead, and I know you expect me to be.

So, still want to believe in me? I have plans for Flash animations as well as tons of Flash games, mainly because I am full of creativity. It seems I have thousands of ideas, as if I have more ideas than I ever make them. I don't behave like those you know, just myself.

Do you think you can handle my existence as well as believing in me? Go ahead and try! However, I know you won't! It's a charade that will never end.


UkinojoeUkinojoe

8/2/08

These are some awesome tips! Observing real life is definitely a key thing to do, last year actually learned more about drawing facial expressions from having a mirror in front of my drawing desk than from school. Ralph Bakshi's speech though, that was amazing. I say a bunch of guys from NG should team up in a warehouse somewhere and make a feature film out of Tankmen.


DughDugh

8/2/08

Thanks :D


KajenxKajenx

8/2/08

The internet will free all artists!


I approve of this post you have made, now I must watch Bakshi's video speech.


That movie has told me a lot, and you're post will help a lot. Thanks for the tips!


Great advice thanks.
I've forgotten completly about looking at the environment around me. I've been too wrapped up in other stuff. I remember that my first ideas I ever got for flash came to me when I was at my towns park in winter.


Have Ralph B. even animated since the 70's? He did inspire John K. so I guess that counts for something. The video makes some good points though. I guess the biggest change is how freelance and web animation has dramatically changed what was originally a union-only industry. I guess in the end, the clock keep ticking never to return to where it was.


RadRad

8/2/08

So... if we want to make a movie we should just get a bunch of guys with PC's together and make it instead of sucking a bigger company's cock for the money?

Makes sense, but tell me if I missed the message or something.

8/2/08 Weirdo responds:

Give you a nickel if you tickle my pickle.


Excellent post. Great tips, man.


BugBug

8/2/08

this is a great post everyone here should read and watch all of this!

8/2/08 (Updated 8/2/08) Weirdo responds:

Thanks! I can't wait to see your "Hammer+Nail" cartoon, your drawings look great!


i cant say im a huge fan of ralphs work or anything, but everybody should watch that video, its great advice.

8/2/08 Weirdo responds:

Even if I hated his work (which I don't, big fan right here) I would still appreciate what he accomplished by breaking the business mold during that time. It's like a revolution and I think we need one again right now!


LuisLuis

8/2/08

Great post. I admit i was skeptical when i first started watching Ralph's talk, because i thought it would be just a repeated speech on bitter animators frusterated with the scene and not going out and doing something... then i found myself totally agreeing him. I think his speech is especially key here at newgrounds.

8/2/08 Weirdo responds:

Couldn't agree more, Ralph's speech definitely applies to everyone here on Newgrounds. It was a slap upside the head for me, I gotta get to work!


ralph bakshi owns me